To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to ensure social value is included when services are commissioned by (a) his Department and (b) its public bodies; and if he will make a statement.
The Ministry of Justice set out its strategic approach to competition in the Offender Services Competition Strategy(1). This included defining a clear set of principles. These comprise:
competition activity should be focused on achieving mid to long-term savings, not finding the cheapest solution at the expense of quality; competition should be used to deliver public sector reforms, ensuring providers are more effectively held to account for the outcomes they deliver; providers should be involved early to identify where efficiencies could be realised in national or process-based functions through competition; small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the voluntary and community sector (VCS) should be encouraged to participate to drive innovation; and competition should be widely applied, with public sector providers allowed to bid where we are competing localised services and robustly held to account where successful.